April has been a whirlwind of a month so far. I got an unexpected but very welcome new job that required me to spend the last two weeks in Toronto and Los Angeles and now I am back in Dublin for just one week before I head to Paris for six weeks – it’s all very jet-setty and very exciting, but also very exhausting.
The travel to Toronto was a huge positive for me. Going to Toronto basically means going home, and I was lucky enough to get three days in Buffalo between time in Canada and that place with the earthquakes and sunshine where I used to live.
Los Angeles and I have always had a troubled relationship. I’ve lived there twice. The first time, I fled after less than a year vowing never to return. But then I did. And that second breakup took eight years. My first exit from Los Angeles was, quite literally, spurred by violence. A huge earthquake shattered not only the city in which I was living, but my also dreams.
My second stint in LA was a more codependent relationship. Despite carpe-ing my diems and leaping without regard for a net, my time in LA was filled with anxiety, disappointment and more shattered dreams – though, thankfully, no earthquakes worth mentioning. But when I left LA that time, I was moving toward something rather than running away. I had my sights set on Europe, on Dublin.
That was nearly four years ago. I wasn’t sure how it would feel to return to the City of Angels for which my feelings are decidedly un-angelic. And it was weird. From the moment I stepped outside LAX and breathed in what I can only assume was smog and sunshine, it was weird. For the entire first day, I felt like an outsider looking in. And then in the subsequent days, things began to feel familiar again. My hotel was not far from my old neighborhood. Streets and restaurants and even billboards were the same. And the weather was typical. But that familiar feeling of not belonging returned as well.
It was interesting, and even nice, to return to Los Angeles for a few days. I enjoyed the work that I did while I was there and was very happy to hang with some very dear friends. And I forgot how much I like iced tea and tacos. But if I ever had any fleeting moments of doubt as to whether I made the right decision in leaving LA and moving to Europe, then these few days solidified things for me forever. I know that I belong in Europe. I can feel it.
Though seriously, iced tea is awesome.